A cap on energy prices is highly likely, analysts said yesterday, after ministers vowed to intervene further in the market and warned the Big Six suppliers that their “time was up”. Jesse Norman, the energy minister, said that it was “not acceptable that five of the largest suppliers are increasing their standard variable prices”. Mr Norman criticised the fact that about two thirds of customers of the Big Six suppliers are on standard variable tariffs that are more expensive than the best offers in the market. “For too long, too many customers have been left on poor-value deals,” he said. Political pressure for intervention in 2013 led to Ofgem, the regulator, referring the sector to the Competition and Markets Authority, which was supposed to “once and for all . . . clear the air” over prices. The two-year inquiry, which recommended the pre-payment price cap and measures to boost switching for other customers, appears to have fallen far short of its aims.
Times 17th March 2017 read more »